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Medical Physics





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Quantitative measurements of carotid plaque burden progression or regression are important in monitoring patients and in evaluation of new treatment options. 3D ultrasound (US) has been used to monitor the progression or regression of carotid artery plaques. This paper reports on the development and application of a method used to analyze changes in carotid plaque morphology from 3D US. The technique used is evaluated using manual segmentations of the arterial wall and lumen from 3D US images acquired in two imaging sessions. To reduce the effect of segmentation variability, segmentation was performed five times each for the wall and lumen. The mean wall and lumen surfaces, computed from this set of five segmentations, were matched on a point-by-point basis, and the distance between each pair of corresponding points served as an estimate of the combined thickness of the plaque, intima, and media (vessel-wall-plus-plaque thickness or VWT). The VWT maps associated with the first and the second US images were compared and the differences of VWT were obtained at each vertex. The 3D VWT and VWT-Change maps may provide important information for evaluating the location of plaque progression in relation to the localized disturbances of flow pattern, such as oscillatory shear, and regression in response to medical treatments.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: B Chiu, M Egger, JD Spence, G Parraga & A Fenster (2008). Quantification of carotid vessel wall and plaque thickness change using 3D ultrasound images. Medical Physics 35(8), 3691-3710, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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